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Born Elaine Bickerstaff in the spring of 1951, Elaine Paige would go on to be one of the most recognizable names in theater. She attended the Aida Foster Drama School as she was growing up, preparing her lovely singing voice for musical theater. In the early '70s, she started acting in various London productions, getting small roles in Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, and finally landing the lead in Grease (opposite an unknown Richard Gere). She eventually quit musical theater to try her hand at television. Her role on the soap Crossroads was hardly memorable, so when she had the chance to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita she jumped at the opportunity. It was a huge smash, leading to many awards and a 20-month run as the lead character. She left to try and start a pop career, but her first effort, Sitting Pretty, hardly made a dent on the pop charts. Still, her theater success landed her another high-profile role in Webber's Cats and a concert hall performance at Royal Festival Hall, both enormous successes. Her eponymous sophomore album was mildly more successful than the last, but it was a series of albums released in the middle of the '80s that brought her the most success. Stages, Cinema, and Love Hurts were all popular efforts that made the Top Ten in the U.K., and her efforts in Tim Rice's Chess led to a hit single, "I Know Him So Well."
Her release schedule only became more frantic as the years went by: she put out albums almost yearly and performed in several huge productions for the British stage including Piaf, Anything Goes, and Sunset Boulevard. When Sunset Boulevard came to New York in 1996, it was her first time on Broadway. She was met with much critical admiration, and brought her considerable talents to a television special for the BBC called A South Bank Show. The special showed her visiting different parts of the world where her plays had been set, and performing songs there in character. It was soon after this that she was showered with awards from critic collectives, theatrical organizations, and even the Queen of England for her years of service to the British theater. She spent the second half of the '90s performing at many tribute and benefit concerts, as well as her first major non-singing role on the stage, The Misanthrope. Her recording schedule slowed down considerably after 1998. In 2000, she started on a successful run of The King and I and began work on a second duet album with Barbara Dickson. Next came a revival of the 1971 James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim musical Follies, with Paige playing the central role of Carlotta Campion. The cast recording for the musical appeared on CD late in 2011.
Wikipedia:Not to be confused with Ellen Page.
Elaine Paige OBE (born Elaine Jill Bickerstaff, 5 March 1948) is an English singer and actress best known for her work in musical theatre. Raised in Barnet, North London, Paige attended the Aida Foster stage school, making her first professional appearance on stage in 1964, at the age of 16. Her appearance in the 1968 production of Hair marked her West End debut.
Following a number of roles over the next decade, Paige was selected to play Eva Perón in the first production of Evita in 1978, which brought her to the attention of the broader public. For this role, she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Performance of the Year in a musical. She went on to originate the role of Grizabella in Cats and had a Top 10 hit with "Memory", a song from the show. In 1985, Paige released "I Know Him So Well" with Barbara Dickson from the musical Chess, which remains the biggest-selling record by a female duo. She then appeared in the original stage production of Chess, followed by a starring role in Anything Goes which she also co-produced. Paige made her Broadway debut in Sunset Boulevard in 1996, playing the lead role of Norma Desmond, to critical acclaim. She appeared in The King and I from 2000 to 2001, and six years later she returned to the West End stage in The Drowsy Chaperone. She has also worked sporadically in television.
In addition to being nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards, Paige has won many other awards for her theatre roles and has been called the First Lady of British Musical Theatre due to her skill and longevity. She has released 22 solo albums, of which eight were consecutively certified gold and another four multi-platinum. Paige is also featured on seven cast albums and has sung in concerts across the world. Since 2004 she has hosted her own show on BBC Radio 2 called Elaine Paige on Sunday.
In 2014, Paige celebrates her 50 years in show business. Paige announced on her official website a "Farewell" concert tour and a new career-spanning album 'The Ultimate Collection' to mark this milestone in her career.Ms Elaine Jill Paige company-director-check.co.uk. Retrieved 26 April 2012. Fox, Sue. Relative Values: Elaine Paige, singer, and her sister, Marion. The Times, 23 May 2004. Retrieved on 5 January 2008. "Page by Page by Paige – Elaine announces 50th Anniversary Farewell Tour ElainePaige.com, 25 November 2013. "Unreleased songs debut on Elaine Paige – The Ultimate Collection" ElainePaige.com, 09 April 2014.
ContentsLife and career1.1 Background1.2 Early career – 1968–1980: West End debut and Evita1.3 1981–1993: Cats and Chess era1.4 1994–2001: Sunset Boulevard and Broadway debut1.5 2002–present: Radio and return to West End and Broadway
Life and career
Elaine Jill Bickerstaff was born and raised in Barnet, North London, where her father worked as an estate agent and her mother was a milliner. Her mother had been a singer in her youth, and her father was an amateur drummer. Paige stands at just under 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, which she says has caused her to lose out on leading roles. Her original ambition was to become a professional tennis player, at which point her headmistress pointed out to her "they'd never see you over the net", but Paige continued to play tennis and has referred to the sport as one of her passions.
At 14, Paige listened to the film soundtrack of West Side Story, which evoked the desire for a career in musical theatre. Paige's musical ability was encouraged by her school music teacher, Ann Hill, who was also the head of the music department. Paige was a member of Hill's choir, and her first role on stage was playing Susanna in a school production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which was followed by parts in The Boy Mozart and solos in Handel's Messiah— "a difficult work for little children". Paige also recalls singing the mezzo role of Bastienne in Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne. After singing the aria, she chose to break down in character and to release a sob much to the audience's shock who, having been convinced by her acting, thought she was in real pain.
Her father later suggested that she should go to drama school, so she attended the Aida Foster Theatre School. Lacking confidence, she initially disliked stage school; her father encouraged her to endure and she grew to enjoy her time there. After graduating, her first job was modelling children's clothing at the Ideal Home Exhibition. Prior to stage school she attended Southaw Girls' School – a secondary modern in Oakleigh Park in Hertfordshire where she had achieved just two CSE qualifications.
Early career – 1968–1980: West End debut and Evita
Paige's first professional appearance on stage was during the UK tour of the Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd in 1964, playing the role of a Chinese urchin. To audition for the role she sang "I'm Just a Girl who Cain't Say No" but was rejected the first time. She was successful the second time around after being convinced to re-audition under a new name. Browsing through a phone book for inspiration, she became aware of the "page" she was observing and decided upon that name with the addition of an "i". At the age of 20, she made her West End debut in Hair on 27 September 1968, remaining in the cast until March 1970. While also being an understudy for the character of Sheila, she played a member of the tribe in the chorus, for which role she was required to be naked on stage in one scene. She also appeared as an urchin in the West End's Oliver!. Over the next decade, she played roles in various musicals, including Jesus Christ Superstar; Nuts; Grease, in which she played the lead role of Sandy from 1973 to 1974; Billy, from 1974 to 1975 playing Rita; and The Boyfriend, as Maisie (1975–1976). Paige starred in the 1978 sex (soft porn) comedy film Adventures of a Plumber's Mate
After months of acting and singing auditions, Hal Prince offered the still relatively unknown Paige the title role of Eva Perón in the first stage production of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Evita. Her performance won her critical acclaim and brought her into public prominence at the age of 30. Julie Covington, who played the role on the original concept album, had turned down the opportunity of playing the role on stage leading a long search for a new star. Paige eventually competed against Bonnie Schoen, an American initially favoured by Prince for the role. She later said, "Bonnie was already a big name on Broadway. In a way, she didn't have anything to prove. She was smoothly, silkily professional. But I saw this as my big chance and, like Eva when she clapped eyes on Peron, I grabbed with both hands. I wanted the role more than anything else in the whole world." For her performance in Evita, she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Musical, which at that time was called the Society of West End Theatre Award, she also won the Variety Club Award for Showbusiness Personality of the Year. She played the role for 20 months in total, from 1978 to 1980. She also released her first studio album in 1978, entitled Sitting Pretty. Just prior to her success in Evita, Paige had strongly considered becoming a nursery nurse, but after she sang for Dustin Hoffman, he made her promise that she would continue in theatre work. She admitted that she was "fed up with the whole thing" and that she could not even afford new clothing or to eat out; "Evita saved me" she stated.
1981–1993: Cats and Chess era
Paige went on to portray some of Lloyd Webber's most notable female characters, creating the role of Grizabella in the original production of Cats from 11 May 1981 to 13 February 1982. She took on the role late in the rehearsal process when the actress Judi Dench had to withdraw due to a torn Achilles tendon. Paige's performance of the song "Memory" from Cats, with which she had a Top 10 hit, is her signature piece. The single reached number 5 in the UK charts and has since been recorded by a further 160 artists. She reprised the role of Grizabella for the video release of Cats in 1998, one of only two performers in the film from the original London cast, the other one being Susan Jane Tanner as Jellylorum. Paige's website claims that the video soon became the bestselling music video in the UK and America.
The 1983 production of Abbacadabra, written by former ABBA members, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, saw Paige star in the role of Carabosse. She then originated the role of Florence for the 1984 concept album of Chess, with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Ulvaeus and Andersson. Her albums, Stages (1983), and Cinema (1984), rejoined the cast recording of Chess in the UK top 40 chart, giving her three consecutive successful albums. In 1985, Paige released "I Know Him So Well", a duet from Chess, singing with Barbara Dickson. The single held the number 1 position in the British singles charts for four weeks, and still remains the biggest-selling record by a female duo, according to the Guinness Book of Records. From 1986 to 1987, Paige appeared as Florence in the stage production of Chess, a role that earned her a second Olivier Award nomination, this time in the category, Best Actress in a Musical. She next sang at the White House in 1988.
Paige then took on the part of Reno Sweeney in the musical production of Anything Goes, which she co-produced and starred in from 1989 to 1990. Patti LuPone was appearing in Anything Goes on Broadway around that time, so Paige sought to become the co-producer of the West End production as a way to secure the role there before Lupone could take it. Playing Reno Sweeney was Paige's first experience using an American accent on stage, the role earned her a third Olivier Award nomination. Beyond her theatre roles, she appeared in the television programme Unexplained Laughter in 1989 alongside Diana Rigg.
In 1993, Paige signed up for a year as French chanteuse Édith Piaf in Pam Gems' musical play, Piaf, to critical acclaim. The Guardian wrote that Paige was "a magnificent, perfect Piaf". The demanding production required Paige to sing 15 songs, some in French, and to be on stage for 2 hours 40 minutes in total, and forced her to leave early due to exhaustion. Her portrayal of Piaf earned her an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical, her fourth nomination. She subsequently released an album, entitled Piaf, containing Édith Piaf songs.
1994–2001: Sunset Boulevard and Broadway debut
In 1995, Paige was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth for her contributions to musical theatre.
Paige stepped briefly into the role of Norma Desmond in Lloyd Webber's West End production of Sunset Boulevard in 1994, when Betty Buckley was taken ill due to her undergoing an emergency appendectomy. The nature of the situation meant that Paige only had two-and-a-half weeks in the rehearsal process before her first performance. She admitted feeling daunted by the task which would follow having seen Glenn Close in the role just prior to entering her own rehearsals. London critics were largely won over by Paige in a performance that "not only wrings out every ounce of dramatic action but delivers some unexpected humor as well" and she took over the part full-time the following year. She then won the Variety Club Award for Best Actress of the Year, and received her fifth Olivier Award nomination in 1996.
During the run of Sunset Boulevard at the West End's Adelphi Theatre in 1995, Paige discovered a lump in her breast, prompting her to consult her doctor, who at first reassured her there was nothing to be concerned about. She returned twice, and her doctor subsequently sent her for tests that confirmed the lump was cancerous, nine months after she discovered it. Continuing her role in the production Paige did not miss a show, and stated, "When I did the show I became very emotional. Some of the lyrics suddenly took on an entirely different meaning. Words like, 'as if we never said goodbye' became more real". Paige went in for day surgery on a Sunday due to her theatre commitments, had five years of medical treatment and completed a radiation programme. She spoke for the first time of her encounter with breast cancer in a 2004 interview, and has since described the period as "the most awful thing that's happened to me in my life".
Paige transferred to the American production of Sunset Boulevard to make her Broadway debut at the Minskoff Theatre on 12 September 1996, staying with the show until it closed on 22 March 1997. On the Sunset Boulevard set in Broadway, the staircase steps had to be raised six inches (15 cm) in order to accommodate Paige's short stature, or it would have been hard to see her behind the banister. Paige was welcomed to the Broadway stage with a long standing ovation from the audience, and received largely positive reviews for her New York performance as Norma Desmond: "The lush sound and the sheer power of her voice are, to put it simply, incredible", wrote one critic, whilst another said "Her voice has great range, remarkable clarity and emotional force". Paige was the first Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard to sing one of the show's key songs, "With One Look", which she did first at Lloyd Webber's wedding to Madeleine Gurdon, although at the time the song was called "Just One Glance". Lloyd Webber noted, regarding Paige's performance of one of the show's other prominent songs, "As If We Never Said Goodbye", that it was "as good, if not the best, of anything I've ever heard of mine". Regarding the key lyric in the song, "This world's waited long enough. I've come home at last", Paige had sought to change the way the melody was sung, despite being fully aware of Lloyd-Webber's fastidious tendencies. To her, the moment was not exploited to its fullest potential, so she approached the show's musical director, David Caddick, and expressed her wish to hold the word "home", to which he agreed. Although she had been disappointed when she hoped to perform on Broadway in Evita, Cats and Chess, Paige stated of her debut there, "It was just the most perfect time to go with that particular show". After Sunset Boulevard finished, she suffered from depression, commenting that the show's closing "was the most terrible feeling. ... I'd felt I'd lost something so very important to me. I thought it had died and gone away".
Arts commentator Melvyn Bragg hosted a special edition of The South Bank Show about Paige's career in 1996, entitled The Faces of Elaine Paige. The episode saw her visiting parts of the world where plays she had starred in had been set.
In 1997, Paige made her United States concert debut when she opened the Boston Pops season, which was aired on WGBH in America. The following year, she made a guest star appearance at Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th birthday celebration at the Royal Albert Hall. During the birthday tribute show, she sang "Memory" and "Don't Cry for Me Argentina", two songs from her past musical productions by Lloyd Webber. Paige's next role was Célimène in the non-musical play The Misanthrope in 1998, but she admitted that she missed the musical element and that the silence was slightly unsettling to her. A Lifetime Achievement Award from The National Operatic and Dramatic Association soon followed. She later performed alongside Bette Midler in a 1999 New York concert to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
From 2000 to 2001, she starred as Anna Leonowens in a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I at the London Palladium. Paige had turned down an offer for the role the first time she was approached, but later accepted, admitting that she had "forgotten what a fantastic score it was", although she did question her own suitability for the role. Before the opening, the box office had already taken in excess of £7 million in ticket sales. The critic for The Independent commented, "It may well be impossible to be a success as Evita and a success as Anna" complaining that Paige was not refined enough for the role, whereas The Spectator asserted that the role further strengthened her title as the "First Lady of British Musical Theatre". During her time in The King and I, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Despite Paige wanting to pull out of the show, her mother insisted that she should continue until her contract had finished, and Paige's sister, Marion Billings, admitted, "That was very hard for Elaine, having to go on stage night after night knowing she wanted to be with Mum".
2002–present: Radio and return to West End and Broadway
Paige sang at the opening of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and then made her Los Angeles concert debut at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. In 2003, she played Angèle in Where There's a Will, directed by Peter Hall. She next sang the role of Mrs Lovett in the New York City Opera production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in March 2004, earning positive reviews from critics, and a nomination for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical. Paige then embarked upon a UK tour which was entitled "No Strings Attached".
In September 2004, Paige began a weekly radio show, Elaine Paige on Sunday, on BBC Radio 2, featuring music from musical theatre and film. The 400th edition was broadcast on Sunday 29 July 2012. In an unfavourable review, the show was described by Elisabeth Mahoney of The Guardian as "a chilly, alienating listening experience" and a "rare wrong move" on the part of Radio 2. Lisa Martland of The Stage agreed that "it is by far the music that brings me back to the programme ... and not her lightweight presenting style". However, the show regularly attracts 3 million listeners, and interviews are also featured each week. Paige also focused on television appearances, playing Dora Bunner in the 2005 ITV adaptation of Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced in the Marple series, before performing a guest role as a post mistress in Where the Heart Is. The episode of Marple was watched by 7.78 million viewers.
The release of Paige's first full studio album of new recordings in 12 years was marked in 2006, entitled Essential Musicals. The album included popular songs from musicals identified by a poll on her radio show, in which 400,000 listeners voted. At this point, Paige had recorded 20 solo albums in total, of which eight were consecutively certified gold and another four multi-platinum, and she had been featured on seven cast albums. Paige also appeared in concert in Scandinavia, Hong Kong, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. On 20 and 21 December 2006, she performed in concert in Shanghai, extending her concert tour to two dates to satisfy demand. With a noticeable absence from musical theatre, having not taken a role for many years, she explained in 2006 that "there's been nothing that I've wanted to do, and if you're going to commit to a year at the theatre, six days a week, and have no life, then it's got to be something that you want to do with all your heart". She also affirmed that she believes for older actors it becomes harder to obtain theatre roles.
In 2007, Paige made a return to the West End stage for the first time in six years, as the Chaperone/Beatrice Stockwell in The Drowsy Chaperone at the Novello Theatre. The production ran for a disappointing 96 performances, although it had opened to a standing ovation from the audience and a generally optimistic reaction from critics. The Daily Telegraph wrote, "Elaine Paige is a good sport ... enduring jokes about her reputation for being 'difficult' with a grin that doesn't seem all that forced. ... Only the self-importantly serious and the chronically depressed will fail to enjoy this preposterously entertaining evening". Paul Taylor from The Independent was less impressed and wrote "a miscast Elaine Paige manages to be unfunny to an almost ingenious degree as the heroine's bibulous minder". For her performance, Paige was nominated for a What's On Stage Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. She next collaborated with the duo Secret Garden in recording the song "The Things You Are to Me" for their 2007 album, Inside I'm Singing.
To raise money for Sport Relief Paige danced the tango on Sport Relief does Strictly Come Dancing with Matt Dawson in March 2008, where they were voted second overall. She opened the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in July 2008, performing some of her well-known songs from her 40-year career. She next started her world tour, with dates in China, America and Australia. To further celebrate 40 years since her professional stage debut, in October 2008 Paige released a picture-based autobiography entitled Memories. The book took around eight months to compile; "Since Evita I suppose, I had kept a yearbook. My parents always kept cuttings and things like that for me. I did have quite a lot of reference material to work out" Paige commented.
An album entitled Elaine Paige and Friends was produced by Phil Ramone in 2010. The album features duets with Paige and artists such as Johnny Mathis, Barry Manilow and Olivia Newton-John as well as a duet with Sinéad O'Connor on a new song "It's Only Life" penned by Tim Rice. Having entered the top 20 of UK album charts, Elaine Paige and Friends went on to achieve gold status.
Paige played the role of Carlotta Campion in the Kennedy Center production of Follies in May and June 2011 at the Eisenhower Theatre in Washington, DC, receiving favourable reviews for her performance of the showstopper, "I'm Still Here." The principal cast starred Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Ron Raines and Danny Burstein. She reprised this role in the Broadway transfer of the musical at the Marquis Theatre beginning 7 August 2011 and ending on 22 January 2012. Paige played Carlotta in the engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, California from 3 May 2012 through 9 June 2012.
In 2014, Paige became involved in a six-episode limited show for Sky Arts television called The Elaine Paige Show, featuring Broadway and West End stars. The inaugural Australian cruise of the performing arts on the MS Radiance of the Seas in November 2014 included Paige as well as, among others, Cheryl Barker, David Hobson, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Simon Tedeschi, Marina Prior, and John Waters.Cite error: The named reference values was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Gans, Andrew. Diva Talk: Meet Broadway's New Norma, Elaine Paige. Playbill, 11 September 1996. Retrieved on 24 February 2008. Elaine is a little cross. Daily Express, 14 June 2007. Retrieved on 21 January 2007. Copstick, Kate. A new Paige. The Scotsman, 21 October 2006. Retrieved on 18 January 2008. Actress and singer Elaine Paige. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 11 October 2005. Retrieved on 7 January 2008. Barnett, Laura. Portrait of the artist: Elaine Paige, actor. The Guardian, 22 May 2007. 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Retrieved on 6 January 2008. Cummins, Fiona. Elaine's Secret Breast Cancer Battle. Daily Mirror, 8 May 2004. Retrieved on 7 January 2008. Bishop, Caroline. The Big Interview: Elaine Paige. Society of London Theatre, 6 June 2007. Retrieved on 6 January 2007. Weber, Bruce. The Fans Kept Howling for More, but That's All There Was. The New York Times, 24 March 1997. Retrieved on 11 July 2008. Brantley, Ben. Growth Factor: It's a Force of Will. The New York Times, 13 September 1996. Retrieved on 27 March 2008. Donovan, Deirdre. An Interview with Elaine Paige. theatrescene.net, 17 September 2010. Retrieved on 19 February 2011. Gans, Andrew. Diva Talk: Elaine Shines/ Betty Sings. Playbill, 13 September 1996. Retrieved on 24 February 2008. Barber, Richard. Getting to know me: Elaine Paige. Daily Mirror, 16 April 2000. Retrieved from findarticles.com on 6 January 2008. Torreano, Bradley. Elaine Paige Biography. MTV. Retrieved on 29 March 2008. Gans, Andrew. Diva Talk: Together at Last (Again): Elaine in Boston; Patti in London. Playbill, 16 May 1997. Retrieved on 24 February 2008. Van Gelder, Lawrence. Footlights. The New York Times, 7 April 1998. Retrieved on 7 January 2008. Gans, Andrew. Diva Talk: Charitable Divas and More. Playbill, 7 May 1999. Retrieved on 24 February 2008. Low, Valentine. New Paige turns for King and I. Evening Standard (London), 25 April 2000. Retrieved on 21 January 2007. King and I opens in triumph. BBC News, 4 May 2000. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. Butler, Robert. All dressed up but going nowhere. The Independent, 8 May 2000. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. Morley, Sheridan. The first lady sings. The Spectator, 13 May 2000. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. Ehren, Christine.Elaine Paige Sings for Olympics 15–16 February; Makes L.A. Concert Debut 20–21 February. Playbill, 15 February 2002. Retrieved on 24 February 2008. Zinoman, Jason. On Stage And Off. The New York Times, 30 January 2004. Retrieved on 6 January 2008. New York City Opera's Sweeney Todd reviews. The Stephen Sondheim Society, 12 March 2004. Retrieved on 9 May 2008. Gans, Andrew. Elaine Paige to Record New Theatre Album. Playbill, 25 June 2006. Retrieved on 24 February 2008. Gans, Andrew. Elaine Paige to Launch "No Strings Attached Tour" in May. Playbill, 25 December 2003. Retrieved on 24 February 2008. Lulu stars in new Radio 2 line-up. BBC News, 3 August 2004. Retrieved on 5 January 2008. Mahoney, Elisabeth. Shrill by mouth. The Guardian, 30 May 2005. Retrieved on 5 January 2008. Martland, Lisa. Radio – light programme. The Stage, 30 April 2007. Retrieved on 12 April 2008. Gans, Andrew. West End Star Elaine Paige to Host BBC Radio Program . Playbill, 11 August 2004. Retrieved on 24 June 2008. Marlow, Will. Rock and pop. Manchester Evening News, 17 October 2006. Retrieved on 6 January 2008. Weekly Viewing Summary. See w.e 02/01/05. Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved on 9 March 2008. Paige starts Antipodes tour. The Stage, 20 September 2005. Retrieved on 12 April 2008. Baluch, Lalayn. West End's The Drowsy Chaperone to close in August. The Stage, 10 July 2007. Retrieved on 5 January 2008. Hastings, Chris and Jones, Beth. Early curtain call for 25 West End shows. The Daily Telegraph, 29 July 2007. Retrieved on 8 March 2008. Ouzounian, Richard. Drowsy Chaperone wakes up British critics. The Star, 8 June 2007. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. Spencer, Charles. Frothy and inane, but curiously touching. The Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2007. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. Taylor, Paul. The Drowsy Chaperone, Novello Theatre, London. The Independent, 8 June 2007. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. WOS Theatregoers' Choice Nominees Announced. whatsonstage.com, 7 December 2007. Retrieved on 22 February 2008. Gans, Andrew. Paige, Streisand and More Featured on Secret Garden's "Inside I'm Singing" CD. Playbill, 4 December 2007. Retrieved on 24 February 2008. Sport Relief. Daily Mirror, 14 March 2008. Retrieved on 15 March 2008. Elaine Paige to open latest chapter of International Musical Eisteddfod. Wrexham Evening Leader, 15 January 2008. Retrieved on 8 May 2008. Gans, Andrew. Elaine Paige Memoir entitled "Memories," Arrives in U.K. Stores 2 October Playbill, 2 October 2008. Retrieved on 18 October 2008. Gans, Andrew. DIVA TALK: Catching Up with Elaine Paige. Playbill, 18 September 2009. Retrieved on 28 January 2010. Hetrick, Adam, Gans, Andrew. Dionne Warwick, Olivia Newton-John and John Barrowman to Duet on Elaine Paige Album. Playbill, 18 August 2010. Retrieved on 25 August 2010. Gans, Andrew. "Elaine Paige and Friends" CD Debuts in U.K. Top 20. Playbill, 8 November 2010. Retrieved on 7 December 2010. Gans, Andrew. "Elaine Paige and Friends" CD Goes Gold. Playbill, 20 December 2010. Retrieved on 19 February 2011. Gans, Andrew. "Hats Off, Here They Come, Those Beautiful Girls": Starry Follies Begins Kennedy Center Run 7 May". Playbill, 7 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011. Gans, Andrew (9 June 2012). "The Party's Over: Tony-Nominated Revival of Follies Ends Los Angeles Engagement June 9". Playbill. Retrieved 13 June 2012. Gans, Andrew. "The Elaine Paige Show, Six-Part Series for Sky Arts TV, Will Feature Stars from Broadway and West End" Playbill.com, 10 February 2014. "Bravo! A Cruise of the Performing Arts", Stage Whispers
Having had so many starring roles in famous musicals, many to critical acclaim, Paige is often referred to as the First Lady of British Musical Theatre. In 2008, she celebrated the 40th anniversary of her professional debut on the West End stage debut. Paige has never married nor had children, although she had an 11-year affair with the lyricist Tim Rice throughout the 1980s. She has said that she wanted to have children, but "it's a wonderful life I have, so I'm very fulfilled in other ways". Paige has been dating Justin Mallinson since spring 2010.
Paige's singing abilities have won her worldwide praise, as have her acting skills with Andrew Gans of Playbill magazine writing that "Paige's gift is to dissect a role and determine what phrasing, gesture or emotion can bring a scene to its fullest dramatic potential". Mark Shenton also highlighted her voice in 2008 as "one of the most distinctive and impressive voices in the business". Lloyd-Webber insists that her rendition of "As If We Never Said Goodbye" is one of the best interpretations of a song by him.
She is a Vice-President of The Children's Trust, a UK charity for children with brain injury.
Paige has gained herself a reputation as someone who can be "difficult". The Times' Brian Logan wrote, "Paige is not exactly known for her humility. In newspaper profiles, that dread word 'difficult' is often applied". On one occasion, she told a male interviewer that she was going to stop giving interviews to female reporters because, in her own words, "I don't trust other women in these situations. They establish a sisterhood with you and then betray it every time". What has been seen as a cold side to her personality was also noted by Logan, but Paige has said that a common misconception of her is that she is confident and very serious. Another editor found her "refreshingly down-to-earth" and "very friendly".Cite error: The named reference sexdrugs was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference memories was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference know was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Bertodano, Helena de. Tunes are child's play. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved on 6 March 2014. Cite error: The named reference rock was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference meetelaine was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Shenton, Mark. Another turn of (the) Paige….. The Stage, 24 September 2008. Retrieved on 25 August 2010. Cite error: The named reference newnorma was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference turning was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference show was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Dykes, Andy. The 5-Minute Interview: Elaine Paige, Singer, actor and broadcaster. The Independent, 14 May 2007. Retrieved on 18 January 2008. Cite error: The named reference walesonline was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Views on theatre
Though Paige has enjoyed a long career in musical theatre, she rarely goes to watch musicals, much preferring to watch films or plays. She considers herself primarily an actress, rather than a singer, stating, "I really prefer to be in character". Comparing the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein to that of Lloyd Webber, Paige has said that she finds Rodgers and Hammerstein songs more difficult to sing, and described them as challenging. She concluded, "it's a quieter kind of singing, more controlled, not belting it out".
In the light of the physical demands of performing in theatre Paige has said "Musical theatre is the hardest thing any actor will ever do. You become obsessive about sleeping, eating the right food, not speaking and giving yourself vocal rest and keeping exercised". Regarding the pressure of having to be in a fit condition to perform in theatre each night, she remarked "you wouldn't want to read the letters people write when you're off and they're disappointed – it's so awful, the guilt one feels for not being there". As part of a rigorous routine before musical roles to look after her voice, Paige stops eating dairy products and drinking alcohol and works hard on her fitness. After about three months into the production when her voice is tiring from performing, she withdraws from her normal social life, sometimes only communicating by notepad and fax. She never reads her reviews, finding that it is not helpful to hear too many opinions of her work.
Paige has named reality television series such as Any Dream Will Do, which aim to find an unknown actor to play the lead role in a musical, as the greatest threat to theatre today, believing that "actors already striving in the theatre wouldn't dream of putting themselves on these shows". In a later interview, she questioned the seriousness of the actors auditioning for this type of show: "you wouldn't put yourself up for one of those shows in case you got bumped off the first week and all your colleagues saw it". She has also expressed a wish for more new musicals to be put into production, instead of frequent revivals.Ellis, James. Elaine Page Interview. Metro, 5 January 2001. Retrieved on 7 January 2008. Cite error: The named reference show was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference scotsman was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference thestageturning was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference artist was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference turning was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference walesonline was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Stage rolesCite error: The named reference profile was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference olivier1986 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference olivier1989 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference olivier1994 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference gazette was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference olivier1996 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference wos was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
In the 1980 ITV drama series Lady Killers, Paige played convicted murderer Kate Webster. In 1981 in Tales of the Unexpected, "The Way to Do it", Paige plays Suzie, a girl working in a small casino trying to keep guests happy and finally eloping with the main character. Paige has also played roles in Agatha Christie's Marple and Where the Heart Is. In 1989, Paige appeared alongside Diana Rigg and Jon Finch in Alice Thomas Ellis' "Unexplained Laughter", as part of the BBC's The Play on One.